Pittsburgh earned a split of the four game set with Milwaukee as four pitchers combined on a shutout. The Pirates only managed four safeties, but pushed across two runs to beat Shaun Marcum. Aaron Thompson threw 4-1/3 scoreless innings in his Major League Debut.
The good stuff started in the first. Jose Tabata doubled leading off the inning. He was bunted to second by Josh Harrison. Andrew McCutchen’s fly ball scored him with the first run of the game.
Harrison led off the fourth with a double. He moved up on a wild pitch. After McCutchen walked, Neil Walker’s fly ball plated Harrison with the second run.
Thompson hit a snag in the fifth. Jonathan Lucroy was on third and Josh Wilson was on second with one out when Jason Grilli was called on to quench the fire. He struck out Corey Hart and got Jerry Hairston to bounce out, ending the threat.
Grilli would retire all eight men he faced and then gave way to Jose Veras, who tossed a perfect eighth. Joel Hanrahan was called out of the bullpen to pitche the ninth. After giving up a single to Ryan Braun and walking Prince Fielder, Hanrahan struck out Casey McGehee, Yuniesky Betancourt and Lucroy to end the game.
Thompson allowed no runs in 4-1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and a walk. He whiffed one. Marcum was charged with both Pirate tallies in six innings. The Pirates got to him four just four hits and he walked three. He whiffed four. Hanrahan got the save.
Tabata had two hits.
Nice work by Grilli.
No complaints about Thompson’s pitching.
But did Thompson have trouble holding people on? He allowed three stolen bases.
Marcum is now 1-1 against the Pirates for his career. Both decisions came in 2011.
The only previous Pirate starters to allow no runs in their Major League debut (according to baseball-reference.com) include Paul Maholm (8/30/05), Mike York (8/17/90), Rick Reed (8/8/88) and Lee Tunnell (9/4/82).
Tabata has a ten game hitting streak, stretching back to his last game before going on the DL.
Bucs need to go 21-12 the rest of the way to finish 82-80. They finish up the season with three games in Milwaukee.